Introduced with the S-Class Coupe, Mercedes’ curve tilting function is available now for the Mercedes SL 400. Wehave tested it and we can tell it works pretty well.
The Mercedes SL facelift is the second Mercedes to get the curve tilting function after the S-Class Coupe. The main target of the curve tilting function is to offer more comfort and maybe for this reason, you cannot order it with the AMG versions. But on the other side, you cannot order it with the S-Class versions either.
The curve tilting function has almost an opposite reaction to the active anti-roll bars. Invented by BMW in 2001, the active anti-roll bars technology was introduced later by Porsche and, in the past years, also by Mercedes. The active anti-roll bars counteract lateral forces using electric motors and hydraulics to reduce body-roll.
Mercedes had been against this technology for many years and tried to counteract lateral forces with the Active Body Control suspension, which controls the shock absorbers and eliminates the anti-roll bars.
But the main cause of the body roll comes from the anti-roll bars and not from the shock absorbers. For this reason, the BMW active anti-roll bars were the best solution to reduce the body-roll. A rigid anti-roll bar means less body-roll, while a softer anti-roll bar brings more body-roll.
The Mercedes’ Active Body Control system acts on shock absorbers and not on anti-roll bars.
Now Mercedes has found another improvement for the Active Body Control, named Curve tilting function. The system is available with the SL 400 and the SL 500, together with the optional Active Body Control (ABC) (3,510 euro).
The ABC reduces body movements when moving off, braking and cornering. The spring struts of the ABC suspension are adjusted to the respective driving conditions via the so-called plunger cylinders (via oil pressure), therefore making torsion-bar stabilisers on the front and rear axle unnecessary.
On top of this, there is the curve tilting function (not available for the SL 63 and the SL 65 AMG), which applies a maximum of 2.65 degrees angle in the speed range from 15 to 180 km/h and uses onboard cameras to spot the upcoming corners.
It can be set via Dynamic Select (mode Curve), noticeably reducing the effects of lateral acceleration on the vehicle occupants. The Dynamic Select transmission modes, in conjunction with ABC suspension, has an additional mode Curve (CV), besides the Comfort (C), Sport (S), Sport Plus (S+) and Individual.
Based on the Active Body Control, the Curve tilting function is able to actively raise the suspension springs on the outside of the curve and lower them on the inside. It is the same feeling that you get when driving a motorcycle in a bend. The angle of 2.65 degrees is not too much, but you feel that the car leaning on the inside.
And as a driver, you will slide less in the seats, because the system counteracts the lateral forces. The benefit of the system is that it does not distract you from driving and does not create a strange impression.
We cannot check if this system allows to passing through bends at higher speeds, but it brings a nice sensation and definitely a better comfort, as less lateral forces mean less sliding in the seats.
Photo: Bogdan Paraschiv